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KU News Release

August 29, 2005
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

New book praises KU as a university that fosters student achievement

LAWRENCE - A new book featured in this morning's USA Today newspaper praises the University of Kansas as one of 20 universities and colleges nationwide that creates an effective learning environment for students to succeed in their college careers.

The book, Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter, is based on a 2004 report called Project DEEP, or Documenting Effective Educational Practice, from the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University. Higher education researchers George D. Kuh, Jillian Kinzie, John H. Schuh and Elizabeth J. Whitt, along with 21 other scholars, wrote the report and published their findings in the new book.

The University of Kansas and the University of Michigan were the only large public research universities to be selected for the list.

The book, which USA Today describes as "an effort to identify diverse institutions that do an especially good job of educating students," points out several traits that are common to the 20 institutions. Some of them are:

--A clear, focused institutional mission
--High standards for student performance
--Emphasis on early months and first year of students
--Assessment and feedback
--Collaboration among students
--Out-of-class contact with faculty
--Respect for diverse talents

KU is praised for excelling in five main areas: instruction, service, research, internationalism and humanitarian values. Over the past decade, the university has "emphasized high-quality undergraduate instruction, the product of deliberate effort to balance its research and teaching missions."

The focus on teaching even extends to the highest levels of the university's administration, where executive-level administrators, including KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, teach at least one class each year. Several major teaching awards publicly award good teaching, including the prestigious $5,000 Kemper Awards and the senior class HOPE award.

The book also highlights KU's "students come first" attitude in campus life. For example, university regulations require that all policy committees have a minimum of 20 percent student representation. Administrators and faulty members embrace an ethic of "going out of your way." Faculty are willing to "give up a little from their own area" to benefit the whole.

" This attitude and a willingness to think broadly about the nature of education work together to create and atmosphere of engagement and involvement among students, faculty, and administrators," the book states.

To read the USA Today story, click here.

For more information on the DEEP report, click here.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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